Clay County, Kentucky Genealogy

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Clay County

Guide to Clay County, Kentucky ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Clay County, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Clay County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the U.S. highlighting Kentucky
Location of Kentucky in the U.S.
Founded December 2, 1806
County Seat Manchester
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Clay County Kentucky Courthouse

Beginning Dates for Clay County, Kentucky Genealogy Government Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Census Land Probate
1852 1807 1852 1810 1806 1830
*Many years between 1852 and 1911 are missing
Clay County, Kentucky Courthouse.JPG

Clay County Courthouse
316 Main Street Suite 143
Manchester, KY 40962
Phone: 606.598.2544[1]

Clay County Kentucky History

Henry Clay

The county is named after U.S. Speaker of the House Henry Clay (1777-1852).[2]

Parent County

1806--Clay County was created 2 December 1806 from Madison, Floyd, and Knox Counties.
County seat: Manchester [3]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Kentucky county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Kentucky County Boundary Maps" (1776-1939) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss

1936 A courthouse disaster damaged some records.

Clay County Kentucky Places / Localities

Populated Places

Alger Creekville Jacks Creek Portersburg
Ammie Deer Lick Larue Queendale
Ashers Fork Eriline Laurel Creek Sextons Creek
Barcreek Fall Rock Lincoln Shepherdtown
Benge Felty Littleton Sibert
Bernice Fogertown Manchester Sidell
Big Creek Gardner Marcum Spring Creek
Bluehole Garrard Mill Pond Spurlock
Botto Goose Rock Ogle Tanksley
Brightshade Grace Oneida Teges
Brutus Hector Panco Trixie
Burning Springs Hensley Peabody Urban
Chestnutburg Hima Pigeonroost Vine
Collins Station (hist.) Hooker Plank Wild Cat

Neighboring Counties

Clay County Kentucky Genealogy Resources


African Americans

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Kentucky African Americans



Cemeteries of Clay, Kentucky online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Kentucky Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites have additional information on Clay county cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.


Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Kentucky denominations, view the Kentucky Church Records wiki page.



It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]
  • [Bond] Bond, Arthur. Bond, McWhorter, York, Andrew, Miller and Willson, 1748-1984: of Kentucky counties: Casey, Lincoln, Clay, Owsley, Rockcastle, Laurel, Jackson; and Ohio counties of: Butler, Hamilton. Typescript. Microfilmed 1984. FHL Film 1035693 Item 4
  • [Jett] Jett, C. Otis. The Genealogy of the Breathitt, Clay and Madison County, Kentucky Branch of the Jett Family. Georgetown, Ky.: I.L. Jett, 1988. FHL Book 929.273 J51j


Local Histories

Local histories are available for Clay County, Kentucky Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section Kentucky Local Histories.



Civil War

Online Records

World War I
Korean War



Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Kentucky Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:



Probate records are held by the Clay County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Clay County, Kentucky Genealogy Courthouse. Microfilmed records can be found online at Kentucky, Probate Records, 1792-1977. See the wiki page Kentucky Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, and adoptions.

Online Probate Records


Taxes were levied on free white males over 21 and slaves aged 21 to 60. These persons are referred to as "polls." Tax listings, or digests, of a county generally list the taxable landowners and other polls and the amount of tax. The records for each county are divided by militia district. For more background information and state-wide resources see the wiki page Kentucky Taxation.

Vital Records

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Although Kentucky enacted a statute in 1852-1862 requiring registration of births and deaths,many counties did not comply. A second law was written in 1874-1879, and 1892-1910 but, again, was not always followed. By 1911, the law was more clearly defined and kept by 1920. Any existing births 1852-1960 and death records 1852-1953 can be accessed online. See How to Find Kentucky Birth Records and How to Find Kentucky Death Records for links to indexes and images.

Original marriage records are held at the office of the Clay County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the Clay County, Kentucky Genealogy Circuit Court. For more information see How to Find Kentucky Marriage Records. For Kentucky divorce records see the wiki page Kentucky Vital Records..

  • 1973-1993 - KY Divorces 1973 - 1993 ~ Kentucky Divorce Records 1973 - 1993 ~ University of Kentucky Vital Records Databases

Clay County Kentucky Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Clay County Genealogical and Historical Society
Courthouse Hill
Manchester, KY 40962
Telephone: 606-598-5507

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Clay County Kentucky Genealogy Websites

Clay County Kentucky Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clay County, Kentucky page 269, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. "Henry Clay," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at